Social Security Benefits
Find out Who's Eligible for Social Security
Social Security benefits eligibility
Older adults who were in the work force (even part time for very low wages) for as little as ten years total are likely eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. And if either spouse in a married couple worked for wages, or was self-employed and paid taxes, then both of them are likely eligible for some type of Social Security benefits.
There are a number of ways that older adults can be eligible for Social Security benefits:
- A person who worked for at least ten years is eligible for retirement benefits.
- If that person is married, the spouse is eligible for dependents benefits as early as age 62.
- If someone worked but became disabled before reaching full retirement age, that person could be eligible for disability benefits. If so, that person's spouse is eligible for dependents benefits as early as age 62.
- If both spouses worked for at least ten years, each is eligible for both retirement and dependents benefits.
- If either person in a married couple is eligible for retirement or disability benefits but then dies, the surviving spouse would be eligible for survivors benefits, as early as age 60.
- A person who's eligible for more than one Social Security benefit can collect the higher of the two, but not both.